The mid-size tanker market is heading toward a potential recovery from 2018 onwards on the back of the next burst of US exports through infrastructure build outs.
“While the increase in US seaborne exports is positive for tankers, the volume of exports isn’t likely to materially move the freight market. For now…,” according to tanker shipping firm Teekay.
Given the robust delivery schedule for large tankers in the first half of 2017, which is likely to put downside pressure on freight rates, the positive demand fundamentals resulting from increased US exports could offset some of the burden of fleet growth.
US crude exports out of the US Gulf are set to continue increasing, while the build out of a new export-capable Aframax terminal in the US Gulf will make it easier to ship barrels out, showing positive signs for the mid-sized tanker market.
Prior to lifting the crude oil export ban in 2015, US crude exports went almost entirely to Canada. However, movements to global markets, particularly to Asia and Europe, increased significantly in the second quarter of 2016. Movements to Asia have increased 83 kb/d from the first quarter of 2015, while volumes to Europe have increased 55 kb/d during the same period. These increases have largely offset exports to Canada, which have decreased by 145 kb/d.